Thousands of Native Americans protest Washington football team’s name outside stadium
Thousands of protesters turned out near TCF Bank Stadium to protest the visiting Washington football’s name before their game with the Minnesota Vikings.
The Stadium is on the University of Minnesota campus, where the Vikings are playing while their new stadium is completed. The campus also features the Tribal Nations Plaza, a monument that honors both the state’s 11 Indian tribes and its 100,000 Native American citizens.
Preparations for the protest began months earlier, and only about 900 people were expected to attend. However, organizers estimate that over 5,000 people were in attendance — police put the number of attendees closer to 3,200.
Many protesters wore shirts bearing the words “Replace,” “Rebrand,” and “Rethink” using the font associated with the Washington football team:
— Simon Moya-Smith (@SimonMoyaSmith) November 2, 2014
Representative Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges were also in attendance:
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) November 2, 2014
Mayor Hodges led the protesters in a chant of “Change the name,” which she said was “not just an insult, but hate — directed at all us.”
— Scot Moore (@Scot_OneT_Moore) November 2, 2014
She also said of the Washington football team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, that “it must be very lonely living in the 19th Century.”
— Blair Emerson (@BlairEmerson92) November 2, 2014
Also in attendance was former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, who said:
— Sara Jumping Eagle (@drjumpingeagle) November 2, 2014
The Washington football team was not present for the majority of the protest, as its bus was involved in an accident on the way to the stadium, as noted by coordinator Jim Haslett’s son on Twitter:
Can't believe the Redskins got into a wreck on the way to the stadium! Thank God my dad is alright! pic.twitter.com/23XUD9PJf4
— Chase Haslett (@10JICH) November 2, 2014
Watch video of the protest below via WJLA.